Roasting a whole chicken is one of the first things a home cook should learn, in my opinion. First of all, it’s really much simpler than you’d expect– and you end up with a confidence-inspiring presentation for your table. Roasting a chicken fills your home with warm, delicious smells, and then provides you with another meal or two after you’ve eaten your succulent chicken dinner.
I thought I’d share this with you now, in case you don’t yet have plans for your Christmas dinner. We made one last night and served it with Roasted Sweet Potato Puree and fresh cranberry relish– what a feast! This is a very basic recipe, and one that I hope you will create your own variations of in the future.
Whole Roasted Chicken with Lemon & Rosemary
What You’ll Need
- 1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
- coarse sea salt
- black pepper, freshly cracked
- several sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 organic lemon, halved
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed roughly
- 2 tablespoons butter or ghee, melted
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced into quarters
- 4 carrots, scrubbed and cut into 2-inch chunks
- olive oil
- you will need a roasting pan
What to Do:
- Preheat the oven to 425º F (220ºC).
- Remove the chicken giblets, if there are any, and set aside for making chicken stock.
- Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the fresh rosemary, lemon halves, and the garlic. (I like to alternate these a bit, and end with a lemon half, helping to keep the rest inside the bird.) Massage the outside of the chicken with the melted butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. An optional step is to tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. We tend to just let the chicken relax– but trussing will make a tidier presentation.
- Put the veggies in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top. Using the rack in the pan is optional– having the chicken raised off of the veggies a bit will make the back of it crispier.
- Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes, to let it finish cooking and to let the juices settle.
- Carve the chicken and serve it with the vegetables. Save any remains from the roasting pan to add into the chicken stock.
Wishing you and your families a wonderful, delicious, and memorable holiday season.
P.S. Did you hear the news?